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If you want to understand today, you have to search yesterday. ~Pearl Buck

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kivandopulus
  • Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna is the only masterpiece game of October 1992.

    1. Yawara! ヤワラ [921001] Sofix 1 2 3
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    Manga adoptation. Hero is a journalist who once witnesses how Yawara beats up and offender on the street and decides to write a report about her.
    There is actually a good English review
     
    2. Present 2 プレゼント2 [921006] Orange House
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    Collection of three short stories:
    - "Incest". Hero does not have siblings but meets a magical angel one day and confesses his dream of having a sister to him. When he comes home a sister is waiting for him.
    - "Cat girl Mina". Heroine catches a cold and takes a day off school. As she wakes up she finds a human shaped cat on the bed of the other room.
    - "Southern Cross". Noah plan to colonize another star is going to be carried tomorrow. Hero spends the last night before departure with his lover in a hotel.
    Stories composition is similar to the prequel. The main difference is that there is now more explanation of the setting in each story, so there is less negative impact.
     
    3. Mayumi まゆみ [921009] Cocktail Soft 1
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    Generic high-school boy gets a letter from his sweetheart Mayumi that she's transferring to a faraway school. Something in the tone of the letter looks suspicious, so he travels to that school and finds out that Mayumi is kidnapped and this school has something to do with it.
    Mystery investigation adventure. You overhear that grandson of school president kidnapped Mayumi and the most unsatisfactory part is that he could not even explain why. So you investigate, manage to get inside the needed room and fight your way out. That's very much it. Screen is too small to enjoy the scenery. Story is quite serious, without spontaneous ecchi.
     
    4. Charm シャルム [921010] P's PSYTEC Co., Ltd. 1
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    Charm is a visual novel that consists of five very short episodes from the life of a teenage girl named Eriko. The episodes can be accessed separately from the main menu. In the first episode, Eriko describes her ambiguous feelings towards her half-sister. In the second episode, Eriko has sexual fantasies about her female teacher. In the third episode (without adult content), Eriko participates in a cosplay. The fourth episode tells about her relationship with a female classmate, while the fifth is dedicated to her ambitions and desire to become popular with the boys.
    Five short stories requiring only pressing enter to progress. Game is unusual for presenting a yuri episode. Pale colors, yuri theme and woman as main heroine create a light unique atmosphere. Game is not so much about physical relations, but more about the mindset and the anguish of the heroine.
     
    5. Presence [921016] Sur De Wave
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    A sequel to Nostalgia 1907, Presence tells a totally different story. Hero is a psychoanalytic on board of a hijacked aircraft. Can the terrorist be reasoned with? Is there any hope for survival?
    Suspense work and with a tragic fate. Its financial fiasco led the company to a bankruptcy very soon. What two games have in common is dangerous incident on a vehicle. But this work is more about hypnosis, persuasion and mind battle. Colored graphics looked like a step back from atmospheric sepia tones of Nostalgia 1907. Interface looks poor in comparison to prequel. Criminal is not persuasive and he never kills anyone. Game has very advanced animation for pc-98 and sophisticated talks, but Nostalgia 1907 fans could not forgive the game for being this much different from original.
     
    6. Sweet Angel スウィートエンジェル [921018] Active 1
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    The player takes the role of Seisa, a bald-headed photographer. He likes sneaking into a high school and taking pictures of pretty girls. But one day he was caught and beaten by a girl who didn't want to be photographed. So Seisa plotted an elaborate revenge scheme: he managed to learn a spell that allowed him to look like different girls. Naturally, being one of the girls, it becomes much easier for our heroes to earn their trust - and to seduce them!
    We tackled on Sweet girl 2 earlier, and this game is indeed its modified version. Same control of the hero movements, same multiple school locations to search for some new characters to appear each time, same impure intentions of the hero.

    7. Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna 銀河お嬢様伝説ユナ [921023] Hudson Soft 1 2 3
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    Yuna is a 16-year old winner of Galaxy Beauty contest who then became "The Savior of Light", a magical girl in power armor suit that can befriend opponents with an aim to defend the Universe.
    The series is quite popular and even this first game has a good number of English reviews
     
    8. Kerakera-sei けらけら星 [921030] Cocktail Soft
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    Hero attends a marginal boys school, hangs out with his friend Tamaki and likes to peep at top class girls school in the neighborhood. And he gets an invitation to girls school cultural festival from their bitter enemy, glasses girl Kumiko who managed to stop the peeping every time.
    Cocktail Soft made something fresh out of school story again. It looks very much like a bakage, but it's actually a youth growth story with dokan protagonist and some protagonist drama that looks entertaining. So it starts as bakage, continues as youth drama and ends as a bakage again as the hero chooses the friendship with his best friend over the romance with a girl. A very curious concept.
kivandopulus
  • Ginga Ojou-sama Densetsu Yuna is the only masterpiece game of October 1992

    1. Ryuu no Hanazono 龍の花園 [920904] Family Soft
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    Hero comes back to his hometown to reunite with his childhood friend. However, the girl only leaves a note "Dragon flower garden" and disappears. Hero comes to her school to learn about her whereabouts.
    Mystery novel that features concept of time. Characters and events change depending on time of visit. Just imagine Eastern Express to get the grasp of it. Needless to say, difficulty was very high. Multiple endings depending on hero actions were incorporated. Game was only released for MSX 2, so it was never widely known.
     
    2. My Eyes! My Eyes! [920910] Birdy Soft 1 2 3 4
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    Woman researcher Ryoko is nearing a groundbreaking discovery as she learns how to listen to and give information to a whale Gigi. However there are powers that would like to use mammal communication for their own benefit.
    There is an English review.
     
    3. Premium [920917] Silky's 1
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    Premium consists of four scenarios, each one of which is dedicated entirely to sex (sometimes with a bit of conversation and very straight-forward seduction before). There is no real story, just a series of encounters of nameless protagonists with different types of young women. Each of the four scenarios is dedicated to a specific occupation, which are: school girl, maid, magician, and finally Buddhist nun.
    Second Sikly's game and again a nukige with top notch graphics.
     
    4. Ms. DETECTIVE - File #1: Iwami Ginzan Satsujin Jiken ミス・ディテクティヴ ファイル#1 石見銀山殺人事件 [920918] DataWest
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    Chisato Higari is a detective to receive a request to find client's missing father. You get to know that father is in Omori but when you get there there is a news report about his death and at the same time your client disappears. Is the corpse floating in the sea of Japan truly client's father? Where did the client disappear?
    Point and click adventure with live-action videos, so can be also described as interactive movie. Game had quite a big impact since it was the first game to have videos inserted and to have sound synchronized with the video. Local town locations are also represented truthfully. What hurs the game a lot is small picture/video size and constant repeats of videos on the same actions, like a car moving to some location.
     
    5. Dengeki Nurse 電撃ナース [920922] Cocktail Soft 1 2 3
     
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    Tanchi is a doctor at the hospital. His boss reveals him the truth about Tanchi parents and crime syndicate Black Cross. At the same time there is a Black Cross female agent with codename 0074 who stays at the same hospital.
    There is a very nice English review
     
    6. Super D.P.S. Super D.P.S. [9209] Alice Soft 1
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    Super D.P.S. is the fifth entry in the D.P.S./Dream Program System series. Like the other D.P.S. games, it is a collection of three short scenarios, which are unrelated to each other story-wise and can be played separately. Those scenarios are presented as cartridges played on a fictional console named Dream Program System. Each scenario allows the player to choose between two different protagonists, or two different personalities for the protagonist. All of the scenarios feature nudity and/or sexual situations.
    The scenarios in this game include:
    1. A rather disturbing tale entitled Maria and Kanpan, which focuses on a young female robot specialist who falls asleep and is sexually "explored" by one of the robots. The player can view the events from either the girl's or the robot's point of view.
    2. An adventurous scenario, which depicts the dangers encountered by a young couple in a tropical forest populated by local tribes. The two are imprisoned and have to find a way to escape. The player can choose to control either the heroine or the hero.
    3. A scenario with sci-fi elements, involving a famous female space pirate named Camelia, who raids a space ship together with her pretty lieutenant. The story varies according to the player's choice to control Camelia herself, or a male soldier on the ship who captures Camelia's lieutenant.
    The first visual novel to implement as much as 256 colors with pc-98. Apart of that usual DPS content.
kivandopulus
  • Kiss is the only masterpiece game of August 1992.

    1. Kiss [920801] Ange
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    Hero is a student who is invited to take part in the culture festival of an all-girl St Ange school. But to get admission he needs to get permission from five school student council officials.
    Oh just another charage. Wait. It might be the first charage apart of sims that got a separate ending for each of five girls. Thus this small game is probably the prototype of every second game that's released nowadays. Well, it might be partly a sim since you have a meter of sympathy that can drop or rise according to your answers. And even during H-scenes you need to choose right options or the love-meter drops. What stands out is very beautiful graphics and really good text. The same artist was responsible for this game who made characters for De-Ja. Also many items drawn on the map had animations upon click. There's also map movement incorporated. So it was a masterpiece game and had a long lasting effect on the whole industry, but was forgotten rather soon due to brilliant charage that spawned after that.
     
    2. Mahou Shoujo Rina 魔法少女りな [920807] Family Soft 1
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    Rina wanted to get attention of older Tatsuya boy so she made a wish upon falling start to get older. The star held a small dragon imp who granted her power to get older, return to her normal self and even to take the appearance of other people.
    A magical girl story that's actually just a magical girl story. After all the more and more weird and etchi anime of our days that's a rare find. Well, actually, it's not that pure. In order to get into initial form a lesbian scene is required, but at least without any implicit details. The charm of this work is light adorable romantic atmosphere and bright shoujo type graphics, as well as some animations.
     
    3. 48 Night Story 48夜物語 [920821] Silky's 1
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    Guess the favorite sex position of each girl based on their personalities and get a reward on the right guess.
    Silky's debut work and it's already terrible. Simple mechanics, no story. 48 girls. Elf-style drawing is top class, as usual.
     
    4. Tesera Kimi wa Kegareta Tenshi ka Seinaru Majo ka!? テセラ キミは汚れた天使か聖なる魔女か!? [920821] IDES
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    A mystery thriller where the hero helps mysterious girl Tessera to look for missing classmates.
    The main feature of this game is multiple starting points depending on skills and occupation of main hero. So the branching and variety is large. As with many Technopolis games, some redundancy in system is involved. You need more than one click to advance the phrases which is very annoying. Game has a mediocre feeling, but eyes and mouths are animated, so it can be enjoyed if you like one of the girls.
     
    5. Pleria - The Royal Emblem Pleria - The Royal Emblem [9208] Orange House
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    Pleria is a proof of succession to the throne in distant future imaginary kingdom and it was stolen by rebel army. Princess Miria asks her cousin Ariane to search for Pleria. Ariane takes priest apprentice Rena with him and sets on a journey.
    SF mecha imaginary fantasy kingdom distant future... that's what happens when you desire both typical fantasy setting and battles on mecha robots. Battles are made with command selection as well, but are given the rpg look. What this game is good about is the relationship between Ariane and Rena. They are in love with each other from the start and they care for each other and support each other gently. Graphics is good with many animated parts. Sound is good because it's among the few first games to use midi music. But the flow is not particularly thrilling and ending is abrupt upon finding Pleria, so overall impression is average.

 

kivandopulus
  • July 1992 has some fierce competition. I consider all of Armist , Phobos , Shinjuku Monogatari and Can Can Bunny Premiere as masterpieces. But since I rate serious SF stories above the others,  Phobos is VN of July 1992.

    1. Armist Armist [920703] Basement 1 2
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    You're the head of detective agency Armist and among your assistats are two deminoids or in other words androids with animal features. And a huge deminoid producing company requested to investigate a mass murder on its grounds.
    There are several survivors after the incident, so we start questioning them. One by one enemy demigods show up and eventually their leader as well. So the volume is not really big.But game is obnoxiously beautiful. There is a large number of awesome CG. There is almost no H-scenes, but fancy outfits make up for it. What makes this game awesome is that the communication choices that have been used up disappear so excessive repetition is avoided. So it's a great light fun short game to enjoy.
     
    2. Image イマージュ [920710] Software House Parsley 1
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    Image consists of three short episodes; each episode, in its turn, contains two different scenarios. The two scenarios within each episode are similar to each other, featuring the same main female character, and sharing many of the scenes (mostly of sexual nature); however, the identity of the protagonist, the circumstances leading to the development of the story, the dialogue, and the commands required to choose in order to complete the scenario are different.
    All the three episodes are rather minimalistic, featuring only the protagonist and the female character; the object is always to have sex with the latter. The first episode introduces a girl from the tennis club, the protagonist being either an older boy or a younger classmate. The second revolves around a female high school student who stays in the school after classes; the protagonist can be a male classmate or a male teacher. Finally, the third episode is dedicated to the lovely school nurse, with the protagonist taking two alternate routes to win her graces.
    An ugly narrow-minded game. Wrong choice leads to game over.
     
    3. Yumeji - Asakusa-Kitan 夢二 浅草綺譚 [920710] Fairytale
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    The hero is a painter who got famous for a painting of a girl. But five years later he lost his wife and his paintings lost its colors, yet he remains well known. One day he had a dream that another man was selling his counterfeit paintings, but could not grasp the essence of a woman. And to get to the essence of a woman they went to a strip show.
    Again FairyTale and again quite an experimental work. Picture is again in sepia tone. Setting is Taisho democracy era which is rather unusual. Unlike Shinjuku Monogatari there are a lot of still standing CG and models here. It's more like a literature work, but with a rather weak ending. And due to the Saori incident just several months before the game's release, most of the H scenes were self-corrected. So this work remains one of the experimental era weird works that nobody knows about, with a very good Taisho atmosphere, but unsatisfying ending.
     
    4. Alice no Yakata 2 ALICEの館2 [920715] Alice Soft
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    An Alice Soft fan-disc containing four short games and varied extra content, such as being able to listen to the complete soundtrack of all their previous games.
    The following games are part of this collection:
    1. A mini-RPG set after the events of Rance 3. You take the control of Patton as he tries to beat an M Land attraction during Hunty's absence.
    2. A short adventure game about a pair policewomen trying to solve the case of a serial rapist.
    3. After the disappearance of Rance at the end of Rance 3, the princess of Leazas Lia takes her frustrations out on monsters she takes captive. You play as a valiant Okayu Fever as he assaults Leazas castle to save the captive monsters.
    The game inherits the Rance 3 battle system and is composed of a set of preset encounters.
    4. A quiz game in which you get a naked CG or a short ero scene with an Alice Soft heroine after succesfully answering the questions. Includes heroines from the Rance series, Toushin Toshi and D.P.S. SG Set 2.
    I can't really stand fandisks.
     
    5. Phobos フォボス [920716] Himeya Soft 1 2
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    Mars colonists broke out a war for independence. Mech and android war came to a truce, but Mars resources were too exhausted to continue course on independence. Half a year later military secrets documents were stolen from Mars and private investigator from the Earth Ryuuichi with his android assistant Leyla are tasked to recover them.
    Himeya Soft games hold special place since they were the first to start translating their games in English. The more intriguing are their untranslated early works.This is a cyberpunk work so the city a major role - high tech devastated by war, Chinese mafia, gambling and giant companies - they all make atmosphere feel serious and cool. On the other hand there is a vivid depiction of protagonist anxieties after surviving the war and loosing his wife there seeking for a substitute in an android. So the first half of the game definitely gives a masterpiece impression, but after that a much more hasty direction is seen. The incident gets settled but the heart wounds of the hero remain and what persists is the feeling of lingering sadness. Both scenarios of Bacta and Phobos were written by Mr.Abe and they share such features as charismatic hero and grappling atmosphere. But while Bacta was more of a horizontal axis work with much fun scattered around and many unexpected events, Phobos is rather a vertical axis game with impact on logical unwinding story line. And it was very rare for that time to put so much emphasis on scenario alone. For that Phobos should be given credit as a hidden gem of pc-98 era.
     
    6. Shinjuku Monogatari 新宿物語 [920723] Fairytale 1
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    Hero inherited an antique shop after her father who had disappeared. She has good intentions, but gets into various problems and does not even neglect transportation of white powder as luggage. And eventually she becomes a target of a professional killer.
    This work has exactly one suiting word - "experimental". After Saori incident Fairy Tale explored many directions, but this one is probably the boldest. First, graphics is made in sepia color. Second, this is an all-age story. Third, character design is prepared by manga writer and it totally differs from anything presented in VN games before. Fourth, almost all images imitate a cinema and there aren't still images - every CG shows the motion. Fifth, a rare girl perspective. There were several popular youth novels in 1980s and this work definitely has that spirit inside. Running away from the house, meeting new people, travelling around the country - that kind of spirit. And this game has a huge number of charming characters. Game has a very fresh look and great spirit. It is one of the best games of 1992 and is unduly forgotten.
     
    7. Can Can Bunny Premiere きゃんきゃんバニー プルミエール [920730] Cocktail Soft 1 2
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    Lonely man returns home after work only to find seven Gods of Luck sitting in his room. Goddess Swatty explains that she's going to use the power of seven Gods of Luck to help hero find a girlfriend.
    There is an English review, but it's written by a person without knowledge of Japanese. So first three works in the series had nothing common with a VN. And it's the first work to introduce well-known in pc-98 era Swatty goddess. Basically, this is a Nampa game. Compared to earlier strategy Can Can Bunny games the degree of difficulty has fallen considerably. So it's a nice game with good characters and talks and no H material. The only problem that year 1992 is the year of Classmate game made by Elf and that game marked a totally new era for VNs dividing the games on before Classmate and after Classmate.
     
    8. Kikou Soushin Val-Kaizer 機甲装神ヴァルカイザー [920731] Silence
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    In 21st century humanity started other planets colonization. Along with "bioloader" research to create a strengthened outer protective skin was underway. The lead researcher was afraid of military use of bioloader and set an explosion in the laboratory. His sister was found on the place of explosion miraculously saved.
    The company originated from MIN and had close ties with Sogna, so it's not a surprise that it's a graphics oriented story with frequent use of animation. This is a fast-paced action story about Luna, her kidnapped sister, military organization and small robot Val-Kaizer who has some connection with Luna. Game features pseudo-rpg exploration while escaping the facility, but overall is a very easy command selection type of game. Game does not have HCG, but at the end it features part 2 of the story with HCG, but part 2 never came out. The visuals and cute characters make this short game very entertaining.
kivandopulus
  • De-Ja 2 is the only masterpiece game of June 1992.

     

    1. Mahjong Gensoukyoku 麻雀幻想曲 [920606] Active 1 2
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    The hero was a price of a small country but he became just an adventurer after a witch destroyed his country. He studies to be a mahjong warrior and participates in mahjong competition with the hand of Tanya as the prize.
    Mahjong undressing game. I tend to hate Mahjong with all my heart, have not even watched a single Mahjong theme anime - and there are a LOT of them. So moving on.
     
    2. Uchuu Bouken Shoujo Nami Davie Jones ~Umi no Akuma~ 宇宙冒険少女NAMI Davie Jones ~海の悪魔~ [920624] Popcom Soft
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    In 2991 in addition to speed of light space navigation humankind acquired the technology of hyper jump system (HJS) from ruins of ancient alien civilization. The government now succeeded in production of minimized versions of such hyper portals and one such device was planted in the suitcase of space delivery company pilot Nami.
    Game is based on manga so it's very dense in details and elaborate in plot. It utilizes command selection bruteforcing. It's quite unexpected to see such an old-school space adventure in 1992. Anyway the game is quite an obscure one with too few reviews around to discuss its qualities.
     
    3. De-Ja 2 DE・JA 2 [920625] Elf 1 2 3
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    This time you're interested in the legend of crystal skulls. But your only lead to them is the mad archaeologist who is found dead.
    I've prepared a full review.
     
    4. Hoshi no Suna Monogatari 2 星の砂物語2 [920625] D.O. 1
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    The second entry in the adult detective/mystery series describes another case in the life of the young amateur detective and nearly professional seducer of pretty women, Gengorou Imai. The stage of events is once again a boarding house in the country, this time in the winter season, with skiing and other attractions. Gen is having a good time with the young, but "demanding" Reiko Honda, when the news strike: a family friend, a young foreigner named Eddie, is stabbed by an unknown assailant. The only clue Gen can find right away are strange letters written in blood: H and O. What do they mean? Why would anyone want to harm the young boy? With the help of the many pretty girls at the boarding house and its surroundings, Gen begins the investigation, determined to find the criminal...
    Another murder case, but now on a ski resort. This time there are even multiple endings prepared. But the governing element of the game is eroticism and graphics. The story really feels inferior here.
     
    5. Bishoujo Tsuushin - Chat no Susume 美少女通信 CHATのススメ [920630] Cocktail Soft
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    Interactive chat with girls from previous Cocktail Soft games.
    This is the first attempt to make an interactive chat and it's indeed a crude one. You can't even choose phrases, just icons that are meant to represent some emotion. The girls talks is also robotic-like - it's not interactive at all. Game should be treated just as a fan disk to meet favorite characters again.
kivandopulus

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Foreword: I liked De-Ja a lot so sequel was a natural choice.


Title: De-Ja 2


Original Title: デ・ジャ2


Developer: Elf


Release Date: 1992-06-25


Summary: After events of De-Ja you're the winner in life. You have fame, respect, money and the love of pretty Gachako. What else to wish for? New adventures and unveiling new mysteries, of course. You get intrigued by the story of "crystal skulls" and one mad archaeologist knows exactly how to find them...


VNDB Link:https://vndb.org/v2349


Game Type: Command selection with elements of point and click adventure visual novel


Story Length: 12 hours.


Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy!


Comments of Difficulty: You can see story progress in percentage. Difficulty was surprisingly subpar to prequel. The greatest planets puzzle was rather easy since the only information you got was light to the light and dark to the dark and it was repeated over and over. Compared to infodumping of prequel puzzle, it was a paradise. There was also the puzzle for piracy - the puzzle that you were supposed to clear only if had brochure shipped with the game. But unlike prequel, there was no randomization on this part, so in just 3-4 errors you inevitably make it to the finish and you don't even need to load game for that.


Character Design Rating: 6/10.


Story Rating: 8/10.


Protagonist Rating: 7/10


Game Quality: 8/10


Overall Rating: 7/10

 

Rating Comments: Well, that's a harsh one! It's classic Elf adventure that we're talking about! But that's how I feel. I see every element as inferior to De-Ja either for a reason or sometimes because that's not fresh anymore. I felt bad about too many things. Length got almost twice as long. CG got really scarce. Protagonist stopped being that badass hooligan, Gachako got lots of bi@tch traits. And with all this huge length (some people claim to spend over 30 hours on it) very monotonous gameplay, quite an inarticulate story line and lack of really funny moments to cheer up in the mids of the journey. 


Structure: 100% division just as prequel.

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Story: Because of implemented command selection variant I may have missed some parts of it since you have to click at everything up to five times and while reading same lines over and over tend to skip even important parts. So one mad archaeologist makes us really interested into the crystal skulls story. But you soon find him dead in his own house almost simultaneously with his daughter. As you prove to each other that you're not the killers there's a natural desire to investigate the death together. With the safe deposit key found in his pocket you discover a green crystal skull inside the cash. With that you make your way to Palau temple and thread by thread approach the secrets of this temple and locations of two other crystal skulls. Archaeologist daughter get mysteriously killed in the process and with Gachako you manage to unwind this knot of secrecy only to discover the identity of the enemy and his plot just in the final of the game. I don't think I spoiled much, actually since there are lots of characters and details not even scratched.

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Characters summary: There are quite many characters here, but I found all of them (besides old acquaintances from De-Ja) quite dull. Girls were pretty, but I was shocked by their minor role as one-scene filler in the mids rather than original characters the prequel had. There is exactly one other girl that Hatsushiba Hakase got into relations with, the mad archaeologist's daughter. But she appears kind of late, disappears kind of soon and she plays an important plot role. Without spoilering too much, I'd just say that's she's not really mad archaeologist's daughter...

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Gachako: Whoa! Miss Gachako got even more... how do you say it... mature. But as for me her character went awry. All she's saying all the time is "Say that you love me", such sleazy talk. She demands constant attention, behaves as if she owns Hatsushiba Hakase and bi@tches about everything. But the culmination for me was meeting her with another guy (archaeology institute worker from De-Ja) by chance. Her motivation was "You aren't paying me enough attention so I wanted to have fun and invoke jealousy". That's just boring, really. I just see here how netorare Elf is being born in this very moment. And it's not even close to the really intriguing relationships like in C's Ware "Desire". Just stupid woman stuff. 

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Protagonist: So it's same Ryuusuke, but he's called Hatshushiba Hakase so often that original name rarely shows up. He's still cool and he's kinda totally pro sticking his hands everywhere. Just impression is not as fresh. But Protagonist is really a savior of this game. 

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Sexual Content: Look at the picture and hereby try to believe that there is nothing going on with this girl. She's just a hotel owner. Not a scene... nothing. And now imagine that there are lots of other cute girls that play their minor roles that have nothing but the flirt. And now you know the sexual content of De-Ja 2. Apart of Gachako and that archaeologist daughter there is actually nothing. But there are as many as two H-dreams. So even this part is lacking.

Affection for the Characters: Low overall. Women play too small roles and there aren't charismatic males.  

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CG Score: 7/10. CG aren't bad. They are just way too scarce for this volume. Women are depicted with care, but you better remember this or that stance because you'll hardly be able to see another one. 


Sound Score: Voicing is good in multi-pack version. No protagonist voicing of course. 


Addictiveness: I'm rather spectical about this work.


Technical Aspects: So game is command selection. And quite a determined one. It's not rare that you have to click everything up to 5 times to progress. It has point and click moments only to search the dead body or among the shelves of books or on a desk. It could easily be pure command selection, not much of a change. It's said to be such mix because players weren't ready to such bold jump to point and click on ELLE release. Pretty weak argumentation. There are animated objects like in ELLE, but they are scarce and they aren't fun when you select them upon the look menu and finding them out directly by clicking. So yet another step back from ELLE.


Conclusion: It's not going to be game of the year 1992 of my choice. Most of Japanese reviews I read claim this game to be another masterpiece. It might be, actually true. All I rant about is that I was not thrilled since the beginning, then there was not a definite goal and not even a clear enemy, just some loose events that somehow manage to lead somewhere out of coincidence. Repeating choices mechanics did not let me enjoy the talk puns. I did not like the characters. And I especially did not like the ending where upon real 30 minutes time you're being told what this game was really about, what were the people and circumstances behind the so random events which somehow managed to lead to a final. It's like you played for 15 hours and did not even notice events were made up for it. How could I even notice that behind the randomness and foolishness. I'm sure this game can be enjoyed a lot if you find the story or the character of your liking. I failed to find an appeal point and little irritations piled into this review.

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kivandopulus

Kurutta Kajitsu is the only masterpiece of May 1991.

1. Kurutta Kajitsu 狂った果実 [920501] Fairytale 1
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Satoshi Kanou encountered a cheerful girl at professor party and it turned out that she's been cheerful for the first time in her life towards anyone, so Satoshi was invited as tutor in the house. However Satoshi witnesses an accident with professor's older sister and he soon finds himself into a whirlpool of events.
It's a classic depressing mystery novel - utsuge made by the same Fairytale company as Dead of the Brain and Lan-Mal last month. And it's the first utsuge, before that the genre did not exist. It has a suspense tv drama as the origin, but the theme was changed for the game and much more cruel scenes were incorporated. Year 1992 is known for a big number of depressing games, but Kurutta Kajitsu presides over them. Story might be not too original, but the perfect graphics and scenario left a lasting impact on the generation of players. One by one everyone around main hero starts to die in a most unnatural manner and you probably won't be able to look at some of the home appliances the same way after reading this VN. And as with most utsuge, there is no happy ending ... only jealousy, anger, hate, depression, pain and despair.

 

2. Minimum Guynarock みにまむがいなろっく [920508] Techno Brain
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This is an alternative version of Ginsei Senshin Guynarock telling the shortened version of the story with chibi characters.
The playthrough is done withing some 7 minutes, for real. The second part of the game is issued in December 1992, so my best guess is that this game is to refresh the memories on the events of the prequel and produce some gags.

 

3. DOR Part 2 DOR Part 2 [920519] D.O. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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The sequel to DOR is structured exactly the same way as the first game: play any of the three unrelated scenarios, accessible directly from the main menu.
The first scenario takes the player into France of 16th century, during a witch hunt. The playable character is a young girl who is falsely accused of being a which and is taken into a dungeon, interrogated, and tortured.
The second scenario follows the adventures of a young boy who has lost his way in a forest. Suddenly he meets a cute little female elf, who is willing to help him find the right way, in exchange for some other favors...
The third scenario is named "Armored Fighter Gyleban" and is in a way a parody on sci-fi anime movies. The player controls a commander of a unit of female fighters with enhanced abilities, that must stop an evil organization from conquering our world.
Since the English localized version included one story from DOR part 2 all the reviews apply here as well.

 

4. Réserve 2 [920501] MIN
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The final chapter in the Reserve series once again stars Mio but this time the creatures from the diminsion she travelled to in the first game have come to her school and are haunting her classmates and teachers. She suspects there's something funny about the new girl in class - who turns out to be Koumori in human form and hiding out from Lucifer and his minions.
Game's very short and oriented on ero-scenes while losing to different monsters.
kivandopulus

The 4th Unit - Wyatt is the only masterpiece game of April 1992.

1. The 4th Unit - Wyatt 第4のユニット WYATT [920403] DataWest 1 2
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Judge Badnack is restoring vicious criminal organization and for doing that he kidnapped Zero and took control of UN assault space satellite Wyatt. Bio-win and Dalzy must use any means necessary to oppose Badnack and rescue Zero.
This is the last episode in the story before company went bankrupt so the story is left unfinished. This 7th episode is the most technically advanced with timed choices left only for battle scenes so it finally can be run like a normal VN. BGM and voice sounding are also improved. Difficulty-wise it has become relatively less punishing with only one serious pitch moment to reload a lot.

 

2. Dr.Stop! Dr.STOP! [920415] Alice Soft 1
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In Dr. Stop! you control Takumi, who works in a hospital and whose mind is mostly occupied with female patients, most of whom are young and pretty. One day, during a visit to a patient, an explosion occurs. Who caused it - one of the patients or an outsider, or maybe a staff member? It's up to you to investigate, and win the affection of your lovely patients.
An unusual work in that text takes from half of the screen here to the whole screen and the pictures change location all the time and are sometimes presented by just a modest square in the corner. It's a suspense game in the hospital, but also a charage. All the characters are weird, but funny enough. In the end the lack of backgrounds and graphics is a big hit on the impression.

 

3. Lam-Mal 蘭丸 [920424] Fairytale
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Yagyu Jubei orders secret order ninja Ranmaru to investigate Yoshiwara murder case and you are an assistant of Ranmaru.
The story looks serious with the Edo period Joy resistance as a theme, but actually story is all messed up from youkai to the aliens. What's weird about the system is that upon command selection you need to click on the head part in right lower corner and clicking on bare brains is not too nice... While story moves in ordinary command selection pattern, battles are done in RPG manner and weapons can be bought. Some subtle aspects of the game leave a pretty sour aftertaste. So even if you're ready to listen to an unserious story, there's no guarantee that you'll enjoy it.

 

4. Dead of the Brain ~Day of the Living Dead~ DEAD OF THE BRAIN ~死霊の叫び~ [9204] Fairytale 1 2 3 4 5 6
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Cole's friend Doctor Cooger invented a tissue that caused zombie infestation. Now Cole and assistant Sheila need to find a way to stop them.
There are English reviews on the game.

 

5. Lunatic Fantasy Lunatic Fantasy [9204] Studio Light Cross 1 2
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The story starts with an amnesiac woman, who is only able to remember her name - Fab, waking up in the forest. With the help of local dryads Fab reaches a nearby town and stops at the tavern. Suddenly she is approached by a blind girl who proclaims: "Mommy, you finally returned"...
There is an English review.
kivandopulus

Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki is the VN of March 1992.

1. Yamamura Misa Suspense: Kinsenka Kyo Ezara Satsujin Jiken 山村美紗サスペンス 金盞花京絵皿殺人事件 [920306] TOSE Software 1
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While on a trip to Kyoto a restaurant review writer decides to investigate the murder of a woman from a rich family.
As far as I know all the games of TOSE Software are based on real life novels, so reality and unexpected turns is what they excell at. It has all the ordinary stuff like questioning and exploration, but there's also an element of 3rd sight view, zooming and lots of point and click action. This point and click actually brought the most damage since it was not comfortable and it hurt the tempo. A solid plot and enjoyable Kyoto views, but overall it's a modest work.

 

2. Otogirisou 弟切草 [920307] Chunsoft 1 2 3 4
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A couple gets lost in the wood and decides to spend the night in the abandoned mansion.
A classic horror tale that even made its way to PlayStation 1. There are quite a few English reviews on the game here.

 

3. Sotsugyou Shashin / Miki 卒業写真/美姫 [920312] Cocktail Soft 1 2 3
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Sotsugyō Shashin / Miki consists of two Japanese-style adventure games that were not released separately before. Both focus on the theme of high-school romance.
In Sotsugyō Shashin, the player takes control of a male high-school student. Unable to form a solid plan for his future studies, he is more interested in romantic relationship, and attempts to make things right with his schoolmate Hiromi Kamura before the graduation ceremony takes place.
In Miki, the protagonist is Shinji Fujisawa, who attends the high school of the peaceful mountain village Tsubana. During a kagura dance performance, a time slip occurs, and he and his schoolmate Ayumi are miraculously transported to the feudal Edo era. Shinji's soul enters the body of the young blacksmith apprentice Shingo Benibana, and he attempts to change the tragic events of the past involving Shingo's love to the beautiful Miki.
There are English reviews, but they fail to grasp the uniqueness of the work. First of all it's all ages work, but it's mentally suitable for adults the most. Secondly, it's a rare work to cry of drama content right from the box cover. Graduation photo is the main work here. Even though heroes have tender feelings for each other they have to part and treasure their graduation memories. PC-Engine version introduced multiple endings, but totally contradicted the original atmosphere. Miki story is there to offset Graduation photo. The theme of first work is sadness about not being able to change past, but Miki actually is a story about travel to the past and changing dramatic events that used to happen and it all ends with a happy ending. At the same time both works are beautiful and have good sound support which makes the whole play a pleasant trip.

 

4. Mamono Hunter Youko - Makai Kara no Tenkousei 魔物ハンター 妖子 魔界からの転校生 [920313] TamTam Co., Ltd. 1 2 3
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108th Devil Hunter Mamono Youko gets transported to another dimension with her classmates Shoma and Chokako. Somehow this world inhabitants are familiar with the guests.
There is a nice English review here and since it's not original story, but an anime side-story, it looses much of its appeal.

 

5. Phantasy Star Adventure Phantasy Star Adventure [920313] Sega 1 2 3 4 5
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The player's character is an agent in the town Paseo on Motavia. The year is 1268 A.W. The player's character receive a letter while on base from a long time friend Ken Miller. Ken is a scientist currently studying on the ice planet Dezolis. The letter is rather cryptic and only says the following: "How are you? I have succeeded in the discovery of the century. You must come and see it."
The player make plans to travel to Dezolis and find what Ken is so excited about. After take the space shuttle to the planet, you travel to the town of Carsonville. There, you discover that Ken invented a machine that can transform humans into immensely powerful beings. Because of the implications of such an invention, Ken is kidnapped and his device is confiscated. As an agent, the player must solve this mystery. Ken's sister, Lila,assists the player during the investigation.
There is enough information in English.

 

6. Tenshin Ranma 天神乱魔 [920318] Elf 1 2
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Angels and demons are determined to decide human race fate by evaluating the abilities of a school boy Takami placed inside a dungeon swarmed with monsters. Yet another school student Yuima realized possession of magical powers and she is going to help Takami and destroy the rules once and for all.
Finally a game without an English review! And an Elf game besides. It's a dungeon-crawler and only available for old platforms. Whether you choose boy or girl - they meet early in the game and venture deeper together. The game linear and it makes it very tedious to run over all of the shrines just to advance some talk. Every enemy attack was animated and while usual monsters had just two types of attacks, bosses might have much more. The mechanics were kept as simple as possible - only basic stats, very few armor and weapon types, few spells etc. And you can only equip main character but not your companion. So it is a nice mediocre game, but its mechanics prepared ground for one of the most famous Elf titles - Words worth.

 

7. Fushigi no Umi no Nadia ふしぎの海のナディア [920327] Gainax 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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14-year old French inventor boy Jean travels with runaway circus actress Nadia to reveal the secret of her pendant.
Gainax lost 80 million yen on anime series without rights to gain profit on it. But it had the rights to make games on the franchise... and it made as many as seven (!!!) game releases under this franchise to get balances even. And so finding information in this mess was not easy, but there seems to be quite many English reviews on this exact interactive adventure game of 1992, so let's enjoy them together.

 

8. Martial Age マーシャルエイジ [920327] Tenshindou 1 2
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Masahito is a Japanese teenager who studies martial arts. However, instead of studying, he prefers to chase pretty girls. Finally, after a quarrel with his father, Masahito leaves his home. Accidentally, he bumps into Keiko Yashima, the principal of Yuai girls school. She tests Masahito in combat, and against all rules, accepts him as the only male student in the school. Naturally, our hero uses this opportunity to "get lucky" with his all-female school mates...
Tenshindou debut work, but I actually rate it as masterpiece. The story is not much as you mostly meet girls and challenge them for a fight and that remaining 1% of the game is the actual tactical fighting mini-game. The basic tactic with the nine opponents is weakening hits, then a hit to a crucial area (restoring hp during battle is ineffective and a waste of turn). The game is notable for H events mostly. The text is dense and Tenshindou does miracles with 16 colors in skin drawing. Anyway, the impact was big.
kivandopulus

Joker II is the only masterpiece game of February 1992.

1. Bacta Bacta [920204] Himeya Soft 1 2
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Jinpachi looks out for demons and fights them. Since demons may hide as female humans, he has to use unorthodox physical techniques sometimes to reveal their true identity.
The protagonist really sticks out as a cool guy always wearing glasses and having affinity for guns. He has two important talents - ability to detect demons and ... he likes women. He's absolutely sure that upon reaching orgasm any demon would flee from possessed body. Demons have "Bacta" engraved on the body, but game's not really telling us what it is or maybe they don't know for sure themselves. And there's hardly any conclusive apart of blowing demons headquarters. It's a light game where hero actually rapes women on suspicion but does not feel bad about it. Game has a serious atmosphere, but actually it's a collection of gags. What makes it special is that it's first game of Himeya Soft, brand very well known in the West due to the fact that they officially released every VN in English since 1996 till breakup in 2003. And although it's not a serious game, the impression is brilliant for a new brand.

 

2. Joker II ジョーカーII [920214] Birdy Soft 1
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The story picks up 6 months after prequel. But the job is not done. Laura keeps coming to him in dreams asking to rescue her and this time he has to get to the bottom of it.
The first part ended in devastation for Wild, so this time there's a more satisfying ending. Systems have not changed since the prequel, maybe with the exception of graphics. The number of girls is still big and vampire Blanca is still gorgeous. Unusual wild west setting in combination with fantastic atmosphere make Joker II very cosy. Prequel really seemed short and lacked impact. You literally came to town, gathered information, involved in relationship with a girl, confronted monsters and night and that's it. So few of the owners of Joker were motivated to try the sequel. This time the story gets darker, much longer and even more serious with an abundance of blood scenes. A masterpiece game, actually, but it was easily forgotten of in Windows era.

 

3. Uruma うるま [920227] Softhouse Bonbee Bonbon
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Takeshi went hiking with his girlfriend Mai. As they approached a strange monument it burst and Takeshi regained consciousness at the hospital. The local townspeople explained that it was a monument to Chinese humanoid god Uruma and hero who unlocked the seal now got the ki power to attract women. In order to save Mai Takeshi needs to cross the sea and seek advice from the shrine maiden on a Sun island.
First Bonbon work has a clunky interface and not really intriguing story.

 

4. DOR [920228] D.O. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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There is a door in front of you... A strange door, which has been created by the Devil. On the other side of it, three different worlds await you. Don't be scared, but don't get caught up in the realms of fantasy! The Devil is waiting to lead you along...
Kanako's Depression
You don't have a girlfriend, and you don't have any money either. You're moping around in your apartment, when a girl suddenly shows up at your door. Her name is Kanako; she's a timid little thing, but wait until you find out what she really is...!
The Telephone Scandal
You want to have a girlfriend. You call a dating service and guess what!? You get a girl and go out on a date. Wait a minute... Is this girl...?
Planetarium
The scenario depicts a meeting between the male protagonist and a mysterious young woman near a giant observatory telescope. The hero finds out about the woman's tragic past and proceeds to "console" her.
Game has enough English reviews.

 

5. J no Higeki Las Vegas Renzoku Satsujin Jiken Jの悲劇 ラスベガス連続殺人事件 [920201] Thinking Rabbit
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You are a detective in Los Angeles and need to investigate a murder case with a more veteran policeman. Man was murdered in hotel room and had baseball chip in his pocket.
Basically it's remake of JACK VN back from 1988, now for pc-98 machines. And it was not officially released, more like published unofficially after company bankruptcy. And since we tackled on JACK story and appeal points previously, moving on.
kivandopulus

Himitsu no Hanazono is the most curious game of January 1991.

1. Green Oasis グリーンオアシス [920120] Ucom
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Green Oasis is a system of rebuilding any undeveloped planet into an environment suitable for life over the course of several years. A development officer responsible for Oasis Plan on a certain star was attacked and injured with important documents stolen.
Relix is an investigator sent to the star to deal with the incident consequences.
So it's an SF investigation obscure game with no reviews in japanese.

 

2. Business Wars ビジネスウォーズ [920124] HECT 1
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The game takes place during the 1980s in what would be called the Age of Consolidation. Companies were merging together to be conglomerates. All the consolidation among the corporations were starting to affect the U.S. economy in an unprecedented way. Even the Caribbean was affected by the corporate giants of the 1980s.
A lot of strategy is used when players have to make decisions and negotiate. Messages always arrive using the data feed style to make the game more business-like. The game can end with a loss if the wrong decision is made at the wrong time (similar to dying in an action game). The player will have to deal with loan sharks in the Caribbean, ruthless corporate executives from rival companies, arbitration sessions, and components that make the game look more like a strategy game at times. There are no items to use and very little action (with moving the guy around a virtual office building).
I'm not really going to discuss an economic simulator without a story and characters.

 

3. Gomenne Angel ~Yokohama Monogatari~ ごめんねエンジェル 〜横浜物語〜 [920131] JAST
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One day the hero picks up a notebook and it turns out to be a possession of a girl student of St. Francis girls academy where his fiance is teaching. All three of them meet in a cafe, but girl looks very anxious. Her sister disappeared. And we'll help to find her.
First part of Angel's afternoon special series. Difficulty is high since you can't just bruteforce it - wrong actions can easily prevent further progress and result in bad end. You feel like on an Eastern Express - you need to be at exact place at exact order. You move from place to place and get information from beautiful girls, sometimes forcing a relationship to get it out. There are some 6 routes, so it looks much like charage.

 

4. Himitsu no Hanazono 秘密の花園 [920131] Tokuma Shoten Publishing Co. 1
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One day a beautiful adult woman moves to live next to the main character. She turns out to be a new teacher, but she actually is a private detective investigating the case of school president granddaughter murder right at school. Hero gets to know about her true identity and decides to help the investigation.
Command selection varies from spot to spot. Hero can investigate alone or with one of three girls including main heroine. There is actually one ending but in order to get there you'll need to switch heroines to accompany you a lot. This kind of character design cannot be confused with anything else. Urasuhara-sensei is in charge of graphics and it's supercute. There is also eye and lip animation. Story is actually lacking and full of H-scenes. But later there was pc-engine version that had all characters voiced and had all the H-scenes cut. So it turned out to become a noteworthy charage.

 

5. Himitsu Chouhou Buin - 00Nanako-chan 秘密諜報部員00ななこちゃん [920101] Overture
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Nanako comes from a spy family succeeding after her father and older sister. Finally she gets her first task...
A doujin game on a horrible visual basic 5 engine that I failed to launch. Still there are couple gameplay videos at niconico. This is basically a bakage with weird events happening around Nanako. There are quite a lot of beautiful illustrations in the game.
kivandopulus

Year 1991 was the first with monthly issues and for that reason the hardest. Let's first try to determine its prominent features for VNs:

- Number of adult games increased greately to some 100 titles overall

- PC-98 era arrives with mouse support and the older systems finally lose support

- RPG percentage remains high at some 20% while ADV grows significantly to  some 50%

- New sub-genres appear - point-and-click, quiz, board game.

- Some games start to use action icons instead of command selection thanks to mouse use.

- It's the last year without any government regulation. After November 1991 shoplifting incident regulations being created.

  1.  
  2. Masterpieces of 1991:
    1. CAL II
    2. Cosmic Psycho
    3. Cybernetic Hi-School Part 4 ~Ape Hunter J~
    4. ELLE
    5. Gidyy
    6. Jesus II
    7. Nike
    8. Nostalgia 1907
    9. Psychic Detective Series Vol. 4: Orgel
    10. Psychic Detective Series Vol. 5: Nightmare
    11. Rance III - Leazas Kanraku -
  3.  

Those were the games with great stories and a professional touch. And I'm biased here towards ELLE since it's the only one that got renewed version in 2000s. Otherwise it might be a serious competition.

kivandopulus

Gidyy is the only masterpiece of December 1991.

1. Ranma 1/2 - Toraware no Hanayome らんま1/2 とらわれの花嫁 [911206] Tenky 1 2 3 4 5 6
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Each chapter focuses on separate theme in Ranma 1/2 universe.
There are English reviews.

 

2. Strush ストラッシュ [911206] Orange House
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Hero is ninja detective on a request to investigate disappearances in a famous private school.
Mostly an average school mystery story. Characters are cute and moe enough with good animation of eyes and lips. Graphics is definitely above average. The feature of the game is that you have a partner following you and you can change that partner to another girl at will. There are H scenes, but they aren't abundant. But the story is rather weak.

 

3. Mirage ミラージュ [911210] Discovery 1 2
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It happened long time ago, when mankind possessed the secrets of magic. One time, when a comet was approaching the Earth, a young woman gave birth to a baby. He was taken into the nearby village and grew up there. But he knew he was different from other children: he could not use magic, and on his hand there was a little star. He believed that he was cursed, and so did many people in his village. He learns that the ominous cave in the Northern Mountain might hold the answers to his questions. He embarks on this journey, determined to find out the identity of his father and his true role in the world.
It's a story driven RPG and it even incorporates talk between party members while in the dungeon, even though without much success. The fighting is done without stress and the game can be enjoyed as an RPG. A good quality work.

 

4. Birdy World バーディーワールド [911213] Birdy Soft
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Birdy World is a collection of 3 games from Birdy Soft. None of them were released separate from this compilation. The three games are as follows:
Sugoroku Game
Pal 2
Joker Parody Demo
I tend to dislike fandisks, but tried the board game for a bit. It lacks everything including common sense, so parodies must be the salt of the package.

 

5. Gidyy ギディ [911213] Heart Soft
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Main character here is left totally alone in this world with the death of his grandfather. But in grandpa's belongings he finds a time machine and gets back in time to conquer hearts of the most famous girls in world history.
Wow, setting is exciting just because it refers to world-wide known women. It's a point-and-click adventure, but you actually need to choose an action icon before clicking somewhere on a screen. But at least there are more screen exploration options. And here there's also an inventory to keep and utilize various items. Game's cool because of long spiritual conversations with the famous women. We help each of them this or that way too. There are H scenes as well which are good. There are some bad endings along the way. So good impression is achieved mostly thanks to emotional affinity to such characters as Cleopatra and Jeanne d'Arc and the game can be considered a minor masterpiece of its time.

 

6. Mai - MAI Funifuni Papyuun to Iwasecharu! 舞☆MAI ふにふにぱぴゅーんといわせちゃる! [911214] Fairytale 1 2 3
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Mai has cat ears and studies magic. She can be unattentive at times. After she cast a spell on her classmates her life turned to action.
Dungeon crawl with cute pictures, but the system is quite serious. It's not just a gag story. There aren't real stats and battles are described by just text messages. Events are rare and most of the time we look at maze maps and brick walls. Nice retro dungeon crawl, but not exactly usual VN material.

 

7. D.P.S. SG Set 3 D.P.S. SG Set 3 [911215] Alice Soft 1 2
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The scenarios in this game include:
A rather mundane depiction of a young couple's day directly after their wedding. The two return home and prepare for the "big event" in the night. The player can choose to control either the husband or the wife.
A story entitled Graduation, which begins with a rather standard premise of a shy high school boy trying to express his love to a pretty school mate. However, the events take an unexpected turn when a dragon appears and the girl is hurt. The player can determine the personality of the hero before the start of the episode.
A bizarre fantasy tale with the title Rabbit P4P. The protagonist follows a mysterious "bunny girl" into a fairy tale-like realm, where he has to figure out what to do in order to win the graces o
Game has an English review.

 

8. Ranma 1/2 - Hiryuu Densetsu らんま1/2 飛龍伝説 [911220] Bothtec 1 2 3
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Game features an anime side-story focusing on relationships between series characters.
There's an English review.

 

9. Beast 2 ビースト 2 [911227] Birdy Soft
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Events take a year after the prequel end. The relationships between the characters still remain uneasy after what had happened in the mansion. Main hero girlfriend Itoko's mother starts to behave strangely. Once again friends gather together and forward to Itoko house only to find out that a mysterious organization is involved.
Prequel gameplay was boring as hell and now it's even worse. Point-and-object clicking every pixel to move on. Same maze structures with infinite rooms. The number of H-scenes decreased at least.


 

10. Karei Naru Jinsei - Mina-san no Okage Desu 華麗なる人生 みなさんのおかげです [911227] Fairytale 1
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It's a board game like Monopoly and adult dating sim in one set. Up to five players/AI make turns while encountering life events and girls.
Finally a really relaxing game without frustration and the need to brute force every option/pixel. There are three stages for every game match - high school, university and work and in the end whoever gets the more money wins. Maybe one match is not too long, but there are 55 girls available to get acquainted and even having H scene upon reaching certain stats levels. It's a mediocre game since gameplay does not change with number of matches and quantity definitely prevails over quality. There's only one thing I'd want to say to creators. Brilliant life! Thanks to everyone!
kivandopulus

Psychic Detective Series Vol. 5: Nightmare is the only masterpiece of November 1991.

1. Shinsengumi - Bakumatsu Genshikou 新撰組 ~幕末幻視行~ [911110] Wolf Team
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An ordinary school girl experienced time slip to the Edo period while on a school trip. And since she resembled captain of Shinsengumi unit Okita Souji, she just pretended to be him.
Who likes Shinsengumi? Or should I better ask who does not like Shinsengumi? Those brutal men establishing justice in the Edo are a safe pick for a story, but a woman as their captain does not look much better than those dozens of woman Oda Nobunaga countless parodies, to be honest. Game was issued after another shinsengumi tv show the same year. Graphics and especially depiction of emotions is great. Action is good. So it's a fairly enjoyable show if you can adapt to this fiction setting. And it was also quite disturbing to see how noone really figured out their captain was a female... not in bath, not in hot springs...

 

2. Vision 2 VISION2 [911110] MIN 1
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In this sequel, the player, who is now in a steady romantic relationship with love interest Arisa, finds himself falling for another girl named Yui. Naturally, Arisa is unhappy about this. You must help the protagonist make the right decisions, or he'll have nobody at all.
First part was mostly H oriented work, but this one becomes a story oriented love triangle story. Such serious stories weren't yet mainstream and a doujin company such as MIN was needed to raise the issue. Hero is indecisive and he is attracted to Yui mostly because he got in the same class with Yui and in a different class from Arisa. Game has few sounds, but those sounds are masterfully used like when players telephones Arisa to ask for pardon and she besides the phone and does not take it. Such nakige game does not lose its meaning even today, but at that time there were really few nakige.

 

3. Majokko Kumi 魔女っ子クミ [911114] Family Soft 1
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Kumi is an ordinary Japanese teenage girl. At least she was ordinary until one day, walking back home, she spotted a shiny object falling from the sky into a nearby forest. Upon examining the object more closely, Kumi found a cute rabbit-like creature, who called himself Popp claimed to have come from a magical world. Popp granted Kumi the magical ability of shape-shifting: turning into an adult male of her choice... an ability Kumi will need in order to fulfill her mission: sexually satisfy female students and teachers from her high school...
Command selection turns into point-and-click for H scenes which are quite numerous since there are five sub-heroines whom we must help and also the main heroine. It can even be observed as just stories of five women. But the graphics are beautiful and animation level is high which along with the playful magical events create a bright atmosphere.

 

4. XIX! ギゼ! XIX [911123] Fairytale 1 2 3
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Young treasure hunter Zion found an orb in the ancient ruins and a girl came out of it. She needed to confirm something in the labyrinth beneath the ruins and Zion could not leave her alone there.
First of all, Fairy Tail has given birth to several very solid RPGs by the end of 1991. So the field part of the game is very short and underground one is where the main game starts. So there are a lot of maze floor with enemies. Along the way, your companion Physis meets here acquaintances from perished 500 years ago civilization. It's an ok RPG. Slow, monotonous, but with a good old feel. But as a VN... plot is not exquisite, events aren't often and they are mostly about meeting sexy monsters or Physis getting tortured, wounded or just in need of attention. But if you've done with all Dragon Knight series and willing for more, XIX will fill its shoes allright.

 

5. Psychic Detective Series Vol. 5: Nightmare サイキック・ディテクティブ・シリーズ Vol.5 ナイトメア [911127] DataWest 1
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The psychic detective Katsuya Furuyagi is finally able to enjoy a peaceful life with his sweetheart Rieka. But a strange nightmare begins to haunt him. He sees an unknown young woman locked in a secluded castle, begging for help. One night, the nightmare takes a different shape - the woman turns into a miraculous creature as Furuyagi enters the castle. Knowing that his unique psychic skills allow him to communicate directly with people's minds, Furuyagi begins to wonder if the nightmare has anything to do with reality - which he will find out soon enough.
Another excellent game and it's not just a horror - there is enough investigation and plot twists. Alas, pc-98 and Win versions are very rare and FM Towns one can't be hooked.
kivandopulus

Rance III - Leazas Kanraku  finally gets solid mechanics and is worthy to be called VN of October 1991.

1. Sore Yuke Nanpa-kun それゆけナンパくん [911004] Virgin House 1
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A young man named Hidetsugu dreams of having a girlfriend. One day he meets a girl on the street and tries to impress her. However, a rival appears unexpectedly and the girl is unable to choose between them. The two have a conversation and agree that the stronger men is the one who has more experience with women. Hidetsugu then embarks on a quest to meet young women and work his charms on them.
There's an attempt to depict nanpa in a comic way, but it's plain the worst topic for that.

 

2. Rance III - Leazas Kanraku - ランス III -リーザス陥落- [911015] Alice Soft 1 2 3 4 5
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Rance is asked to help stop an invading force aided by demons from taking over the kingdom of Leazas.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.

 

3. Present プレゼント [911017] Orange House
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A collection of three stories:
- "Isolated island" is about the protagonist suffering a shipwreck and getting on an inhabited island with two beautiful girls.
- "One's Last Resort" tells the story of protagonist infiltrating the base of a certain country on request as a free agent.
- "Holy night" is spending the night on a date with a girl.
The stories are lacking in explanation of people and scenes - that's why I don't like multiple stories. The stories are mostly to watch H events. There is no save function so one story should be done in one sitting.

 

4. Rose ロゼ [911018] Ange 1
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The young private investigator Hiroshi Musō has a troubled past involving amnesia and the death of the man he considered his father. He opened his office to pursue crime, aided by his lovely servant Medi. One day, a school girl calls Musō and tells him her father has disappeared. The detective agrees to take the case and soon discovers a net of crime and corruption in the city.
A girl requested to find her father and none of them expected of this case to develop into a drug story. Debut work of Ange. Overall a normal mystery case. One feature is that we'll be able to look from the eyesight of the guardian spirit as well. The atmosphere is good, but graphics are lacking and heroines aren't pretty. Story oriented work.

 

5. Saori -Bishoujo-tachi no Yakata- 沙織 -美少女たちの館- [911018] Fairytale X-Shitei 1 2
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A young woman named Saori is returning home late in the evening. Sex-related events seem to pursue her, from the word "sex" written on the wall in the public toilet to a couple having sex on a bench in the park. Shortly afterwards, Saori is abducted by a sadistic woman who locks her in a mysterious mansion. By visiting the rooms within, Saori unlocks erotic memories of its inhabitants, ultimately exposing them to the owner's cruel pleasures.
Game has an English review.

 

6. Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City Cobra Mission: Panic in Cobra City [911025] INOS 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
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The story takes place on a small, fictitious island off the coast of Florida. The main character is Jr. (although the player may change their name). Right off the boat he spies on a nude beach and is quickly attacked by some of the island's punks. Jr quickly dispatches them through with the use of his gun. After which he meets up with his friend and high school sweetheart Faythe Watson who tells him that guns are illegal on the island. Faythe tell him the story of how girls on the island are disappearing at a rapid rate and the mob boss of the island Kaiser is believed to be the one causing it. Jr makes it his job to find and stop whoever is causing the girls to disappear.
Game has English reviews.

 

7. Satsujin Roman Kikou - Koi no Nagano Bojou 殺人ロマン紀行 恋の長野慕情 [9110] Heart Soft
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Heroine works for top brand fashion company. One day the president of the company disappears. As the business starts to crumble hero with three friends go Nagano ski resort to cheer up. By coincidence this place is close to president's hometown and they get caught up in a series of murder cases involving the disappearance of the president.
Game is point-and-click adventure! After encountering such mechanics in Elle and De-ja 2 I really prefer them to usual command selection. All of four friends are women and H element gets strong. Very few games had females featured as protagonist, so it's a fresh view presented here. As story goes the perspective changes from one heroine to another. The bad part is in the system. Heart Soft has done couple not bad SLG previously and now it intervened in pure adventure story with the strange solutions. RPG style map, direct movement can only irritate in pure VN. Writing is vertical - unusual, but tolerable. But screen is also divided in five parts with four for main heroines and 5th for random speaker. We get to watch at heroines portraits almost all the time and you never know where new text line going to appear. So a very very unusual work that has mediocre story and a lot of hindrances on the way to get to know this story.
kivandopulus

Cosmic Psycho is the only masterpiece of September 1991.

1. Joker ジョーカー [910905] Birdy Soft 1 2
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Wild is the nickname of protagonist. The setting is american Wild West. Years ago "The Great Disaster" happened to the village and Wild's father sacrificed his life to deal with it. On the anniversary of the event talented witch Laura was to see the future of the village, but for some reason she saw nothing. You are sent to a neighboring town to find out about the upcoming danger for the village and probably for the whole world as well.
There is an English review of the game.

 

2. Cosmic Psycho コズミックサイコ [910914] Cocktail Soft 1 2
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High-school student Kazuki sees a dream where a girl asks for help. The next day after he receives a phone call he finds himself on board of space ship and the girl turns out to be special anti-alien squad member Marin. The phone call was for a different receiver, but it's of no help to Kazuki since he's not stuck on this ship.
There is a good review of the game here but it's written from viewpoint of a modern user. Game indeed had morally old 200-lines graphics even for the time of issue, but this game was actually a masterpiece of 1991 and should be given its dues. Lower graphics level allowed to game to be issued for as many as four gaming platforms of the time. First of all it's Cocktail Soft. The same Cocktail Soft that issued astonishing 400-lines Nike two months before. Psycho in title refers to the psycho portal through which the teleportation to another dimension occurred and to alien monster race Ex. The story is not too good, but thriller part is. Game's been called roller coaster adventure for a good reason. While being shorter than usual there is constant sense of urgency in any speech. Events happen one after another and tension keeps stacking. Story develops slowly due to these constant interruptions. This can be called a new method in telling a story. Music was so good that it was probably the first VN that had a separate VN music CD issued. But unlike even in quality Nike, Cosmic Psycho has enough weak sides. And it should be treated as an ambiguous game that was a masterpiece of its time.

 

3. Hacchake Ayayo-san 3 - Watashi, Icchattan Desu - Ayayo's Life After はっちゃけあやよさん3 私、逝っちゃったんです AYAYO'S LIFE AFTER [910920] Hard 1
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Watashi, Icchatta n' desu is the third installment in the Hacchake Ayayo-san series. This time, Ayayo and her friend Tomoko are taking a stroll and encounter a mysterious creature. Eventually they realize that they are both dead. From that point on the plot focuses on their sexual experiences with demons and Buddhist deities in heaven and hell.
There should be no second thoughts what the third part of the series is about - only about H. And since it has realistic HCG, it got banned from selling after the Saori incident.

 

4. Vision VISION [911201] MIN 1
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When the hero goes to the shopping district it starts to rain. His classmate hides from the rain next to his house so he invites her to dry wet clothes.
MIN is a doujin circle from where famous Sogna company originated. The volume is not big, but every wrong selection brings a game over. Game does not have animation, but heroines are cute and graphics are good, so it's a very high level compared to commercial brands.

 

5. Réserve 1/2 レゼルブ1/2 [911201] MIN 1 2 3 4 5
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You play as one of the regular enemies from the first game, who, this time, must go and hunt humans. Lucifer (Satan in translation) has put out a reward for human girls, and it's up to you to bring them to him.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.
kivandopulus

Kimi Dake ni Ai o... is a very curious game and is worth being VN of August 1991.

1. 2069 AD [910803] Home Data
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Year 2069. The number of women decreased sharply. Many of the remaining women started to behave rigidly towards the men and men suicide cases skyrocketed.
The hero starts to wear a dubious costume and the mask of a wrestler calling himself "Mr. S". He will punish arrogant women.
The battle sequences don't allow to get bored. It's also the first game to have sound CG attached to the game. Overall the content is not special.

 

2. Can Can Bunny Spirits きゃんきゃんバニー スピリッツ [910810] Cocktail Soft 1
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The third in the Can Can Bunny series, Can Can Bunny Spirits deals with a nameless hero (the player has to give him a name) who is - in accordance with Can Can Bunny tradition - a lonely guy who can't get a girlfriend. One night he sits at home and stares at the moon. Suddenly, the magic fairy Ariko appears in front of him and gives him... no, this time not the Magic Book, but a Magic Crescent! With the help of this crescent, the hero can turn into totally different young men - which will naturally increase his chances in impressing girls and ultimately having sex with them.
Game has more than ever SIM elements. We get to choose one of two possible locations for the nanpa and customize lots of traits in the magical resume. Not only you should suit the selected girl, but also any really wrong answer immediately results in reject.

 

3. Youjuu Club 2 妖獣クラブ2 [910823] D.O. 1 2
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Main hero is an evil wizard. He worships demons from another dimension. It’s your job to use your magic powers, open up a portal to Hell, and let the demons out so that they can feast on the humans.
It's not really visual novel, just a Xonix game, so moving on.

 

4. Shangrlia SHANGRLIA [910828] Elf 1 2
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Ordinary high school student Tooru was shocked to know that the soul of parallel universe Erion prince Nyuckel possessed his body and in 25 days will gain full control of it. There's no time to loose! Give orders to your ten female officers armies and try to stop the invasion.
Elf's new game. Basically it's reincarnation of Foxy franchise in fantasy setting. Same TBS, as many as 10 types of units with advantages, disadvantages and a whole pack of characteristics. Complex rules and harsh penalties for withdrawal and defeat make this game quite difficult even for native speakers. And 10 campaigns are best to be played in particular order due to difficulty spikes. After each victory female general takes off one garment. After capture there are 20 more special maps that you can play with old units.

 

5. Metal Slader Glory メタルスレイダーグローリー [910830] HAL Laboratory 1 2 3 4
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8 years after the great space war orphan Tadashi Himukai buys a mecha robot to set construction business together with his girlfriend. Robot turns out to be a war unit and he keeps saying that the Earth is in danger and to save it they need to find Creator as soon as possible. And so the space adventure begins.
Game has achieved a legendary status, mainly due to 4 year development period and tragic fate. Game was issued at the same year as FF4 and surpassed it at graphics and animation. But it was released for NES and at the same year SNES machines started to sell so as few as 5,000 copies only were sold and company went bankrupt. Game was reinvigorated by SNES release 9 years later and Wii release even further. Plot is quality SF matter, but after Jesus, Jesus II and Snatcher it was not something special. But in addition to good plot game has great number of female characters drawn with love. It can be considered a first full-scale Moe game for NES platform auditory who had access almost ultimately to action games.

 

6. Kimi Dake ni Ai o... キミだけに愛を・・・ [9108] Fairytale 1 2
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We play as Akio-kun who attends the wedding of his older brother Satoshi and his unrequited love Misa. But the newweds start to quarrel often and then Misa gets into a traffic incident and looses memory.
This is a drama and every actor in the love triangle has his circumstances. So the will to sympathize to main characters and dive into complex relations is to determine whether you like the game or not. Fortunately, Misa is very cute and - FINALLY - Technopolis shifted to 400-line graphics. Pure love dramas were still fresh at that time for VNs and setting of living with older brother and loving the same girl was really good. There were also multiple endings. There were other girls as well and many of them were older than protagonist, so can be also called an oneesan-ge. Story looks simplistic compared to nowadays nakige, but it was one of the first nakige and should be given credit for that
kivandopulus

Nike is the VN of July 1991. I also value Cybernetic Hi-School Part 4 ~Ape Hunter J~ high, but in the end it's just a bakage with quiz mixes.

1. Nike ナイキ [910705] Cocktail Soft
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In 2526 pilot Nike (22) with co-pilot girl Miho (17) are participating in interstellar space race after winning the race the previous year. However the princess of the host planet Athena got kidnapped and Nike is going to search for Athena while participating in the race.
Cocktail Soft new title! And again a great one. Fully story oriented work in SF setting. And my recollection of "Redline" anime with similar setting is still fresh so I got hooked right off the bat. The set of selection commands is not predefined bat varies according to the situation. Choice needs to be done within time limit and many choices lead to game over. All kind of adventures await - both planetary and space ones. Kindapping, evil cult, space monsters, ship arrest, planet destruction. Game has all of it and much more. Events change each other with a high pace and in-between we get to communicate with our two cute heroines. Athena is regarded as a pure princess while Miho is an attractive pal-racer and Nike gets sandwitched between the two of them. And this time it's played out in a more fun way than in Artemis. Sadly, there is a single ending for this game and there is no place for Miho in it. This game is a top class story and it's a real shame it never got released on newer machines.

 

2. Dragon Knight III ドラゴンナイトIII [910706] Elf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14
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Takeru had just finished the events of DKII when robbers took all of his possessions and clothes. The epic quest this time is to get some money. And while on it the mayor has an assignment for which he's willing to pay in gold.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.

 

3. Pocky 2 ~Kaijin Aka Mantle no Chousen~ ポッキー2 ~怪人赤マントの挑戦~ [910710] Ponytail Soft 1
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School newspaper club led by Miki investigates various cases of item disappearance and girls harassment and pranks that got frequent at school.
Longer, cuter, simpler version of prequel. But while graphics were considered advanced in 1989, in 1991 8 colors with 200 horizontal lines was already archaic, so the impact is gone. Kumiko-chan is the main heroine but from time to time viewpoint changes to Miki-chan and Tomoko-chan. The mysterious Red cape had many opportunities to set pranks to school girls and to three main heroines, of course. It's not a big work and only takes 6 days in game time.

 

4. Tenshi-tachi no Gogo IV -Yuuko- 天使たちの午後IV -ゆう子- [910710] JAST 1
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Strange events have started to happen at all-girl Sophia High School - strange sounds, strange smells and strange pupils appearance. The principal requested the new teacher to investigate. Yuko-chan from literature club will assist him in that.
It's 4th part of the series. Now most of H scenes mean bad end. So plot line is relatively serious. We establish platonic relations by the end of the game with Yuuko which is totally new for the series. Yuuko admires the new teacher and their conversations is the major bright spot in the game. The atmosphere is actually different from previous three games. It's a valid mystery detective case and protagonist is a valid teacher (ok, using sex for interrogation was not really what teacher does). The resolution of the case was an aggressive and abrupt one, so satisfaction level remained low. But text rendering speed is a real torture and in 10 minutes I failed even to finish the first talk with the director...

 

5. Artemis アルテミス [910712] Birdy Soft 1
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Notos and Ing were separated by an ambush of a giant woman-snake. Ing fled for his life and found shelter in a village. But soon all the village girls disappeared. Ing now has to find them and carry out plans for revenge on snake-woman.
Birdie Soft in its blossom. Beautiful CG, different color lines, mouth and eyes animation. Although drawing is uneven, some faces and bodies look non-proportional and ugly. Game is based on a conflict of two heroines and the hero sandwiched in between. And since there is just one ending the hero is being torn apart between commoner Luna girl and mysterious adventurer Elutia girl. Another prominent feature is that the hero has a face and often is seen from the side, so player does not have to sympathize with him. But since game focuses on human relationships a lot, the plot gets lacking behind. And since the setting is as if taken from a fantasy RPG game, the overall impression suffers a lot.

 

6. Branmarker ブランマーカー [910712] D.O. 1 2 3 4
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Island got infested with monsters kidnapping inhabitants. All kinds of warriors set to end monster infestation but noone returned back. Now it's time for your group of warriors to try luck.
Quite an ordinary JRPG with turn-based fights, recovery at inn, armor gathering and of course grind. It's the third strategy game of D.O. already and they finally play it safe with just a fantasy setting, not entertainment park invasion or school fight for principal daughter. Shammy girl is main hero, she is both proficient in magic and light weapons. Vega boy joins later and he's full-scale warrior without any mp. The H-element is presented by finding princes and her multiple maids in peculiar situations. But the fact is that main hero is the girl cuts any H-scenes to the level of just nudity. But balance and graphics are good. And the atmosphere is somewhat relaxing compared to usual epic rpgs, so appearing of a sequel was not much of a surprise.

 

7. Legend of Killcool Legend of Killcool [910712] Soft Plan
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During the ancient war of humans vs demons the goddess descended and erected mountains to protect the humans. But demons kept living beyond the mountains. The black demon built a black tower threaten the human kingdom.
Main hero is a warrior who receives a task to rescue human princess confined in the black tower. To open the seal he must find red, yellow, blue, green and black orbs.
A doujin exploration game. There are buttons for moving N, S, E, W, but no map or any means of direction, so a manual map is supposed to be drawn. There are occasional battles. The game resembles Eiyuu Densetsu Saga the most. There are tiny bits of animation at times.

 

8. Manami no Doko made Iku no? まなみのどこまでイクの? [910713] Wendy Magazine 1 2 3
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In the beginning of summer school girl Manami received a letter saying that she was chosen to stop a criminal syndicate in her town. After that she meets a masked man Black Pack who guides her to the underground activities.
There is an English review.

 

9. Quintia Road クィンティアロード [910719] Communication Group Plum 1 2 3
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In 1944 German pilot got into air vortex and appeared in parallel magical world of Quintia. He was greeted as god and was requested to use his aircraft to defeat monsters.
Plot is not the strongest side of this work. But Quintia Road does not get boring. There are all kind of monsters to take care of and there are also 5 princess in this kingdom to harass. So it's really fun and fresh work that does not stop to thrill. Commands are simple, there are almost no puzzles, graphics are great. Battles seem difficult since they afford an abundance of commands, but actually battles are scripted and so whatever you do they will proceed in its own way. The feature of this game is full-mouse control. And this control is so full, that no keyboard control allowed. Naturally, it's not too convenient.

 

10. Cybernetic Hi-School Part 4 ~Ape Hunter J~ 電脳学園4 ~エイプハンターJ~ [910720] Gainax
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In 2006 the people had just one anxiety - "Monkey". Elimination of ozone layer by ultraviolet rays after 1980s caused ape mutation evolution. Mutants were intelligent and since they started to look like humans they secretly infiltrated human society. Thus appeared ape hunters - specialists in identification and "processing" of monkeys.
You are such ape hunter and you've just received a request from school director to reveal monkeys in the school. The only way to check it is undress the subject and find evidence of his red ass and tail.
Oh my, that's the whole point of Gainax. Take a laughingly crazy setting and make it even crazier, totally surreal. Oh and don't forget fanservice. Few Gainax works had none of it since creators were otaku themselves. First three parts were very short and simple quiz+adv+strip games. So is the 4th part as well, it's just longer and has more fancy setting. It's not Adv with quiz elements, not vice versa. Quizes were hard for that time and nowadays they seem even harder even though there are just three variants. Game was sold with a booklet describing the fake history since the end of 80s till 2006 and many questions based on that fake history, naturally. Game is full of stupid characters and yet it's crazy fun, or should I say funny craze. Such is this work in the zenith of Gainax power that it can be considered a masterpiece.

 

11. Sweet Emotion スウィートエモーション [910720] Discovery
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There are five scenarios presented from different viewpoints and connected with each other. Together they let us approach the truth about Slan murder.
Debut work of Discovery which is actually a new division of Birdie Soft so graphics is the best of the best. Partial animation makes it shine even more. I tend to block short multi-story VNs, but in this case every episode is connected and they all lead to a logical end. We also have to change protagonists all the time - we get to be a victim, a witness and a detective. So in Part 1 we play as a victim to be killed. In Part 2 we are students who found Slan corpse in Part 1. Part 3 is when we step up as a detective. Part 4 is journey to the land of the dead to get to know circumstances of death from Slan himself. Part 5 is resolution of the case by the detective. The work loses its charm when we get to know murder circumstances by the middle of the story. So story is not particularly good and H scenes are kind of too frequent. So quite a typical Birdy Soft work.

 

12. Kounai Shasei Vol.1 - Yonimo H na Monogatari 校内写生 第1巻 世にもHな物語 [910726] Fairytale X-Shitei 1
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"Kounai Shasei 1" opens with a text introduction that describes a miraculous Girls' High School that can be accessed by sailing through the Indian Ocean or walking along the Silk Road - a school that even the famous Marco Polo allegedly describes in his memoirs. This establishes the humorous tone of subsequent narrative, which has little to do with history and a lot to do with pretty high school girls. The game has no real story, being instead composed of five unrelated vignettes, short episodes that feature a sexy high school girl, a male protagonist (named "God" by default), and various comical and erotic situations under different circumstances: meeting in a school, haunted house, crowded train station, etc.
The series is the face of Fairytale X-Shitei. Dumb, but cute and occasionally fun.

 

13. Kounai Shasei 2 校内写生2 [910726] Fairytale X-Shitei
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As hero returns the fee to the town chief he hears a story about a masked girl who attacks men at night. He is promissed 50,000 yen if he brings the chief the mask taken from the girl. And so the hunt starts.
Based on manga. Being a part of Kounai Shasei series there's no doubt it falls into another bakage H plotline. But at least it's an attempt to put up a coherent story and not just throw in a bunch of mini-stories.

 

14. Kounai Shasei 3 校内写生3 [910726] Fairytale X-Shitei
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The confrontation between Sailor suit warrior Akko vs. Pretty masked girl on the school grounds where the hero studies as a student.
The part with the most original content ... to the point that hardly anything makes sense. Well, this series is not here for making sense, but rather for invoking reflexes.
kivandopulus

ELLE / エル

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Foreword: I just had to try Elf adventure title. Now I joined the army of Hiruda scenario fans.
Title: ELLE
Original Title: エル
Developer: Elf
Release Date: 1991-06-23
Summary: Post-nuclear world last survivors dome city. "Black Widow" organization is trying to obstruct plans for human survival while anti-terror organization along with lady sniper Elle oppose them.
VNDB Link: 
https://vndb.org/v2293

Video playthrough: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLENAECnNmAq_KMeaBzd3g0HXL2znhn-eQ
Game Type: Point and click adventure visual novel

Story Length: 7 hours.
Complete Story Clearing Difficulty: Easy!
Comments of Difficulty: One-way road. The worst thing that can happen is that you can miss optional H-scene or couple CG.
Character Design Rating: 9/10. 
Story Rating: 10/10.
Protagonist Rating: 10/10
Game Quality: 10/10
Overall Rating: 10/10
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Rating Comments: I did not really expect this work to surpass De-Ja. But it actually did! Could not stop till finished it in one sitting. I can not give excellent mark to Characters since it's an adventure story and there's little time to crack complex characters. But apart of that I loved every second of it. Point and Click is much more fun than Interactive Adventure choices. There is much less effort needed to capture flags to progress the story compared to De-Ja, mostly because you don't need to think/look/investigate etc - story progresses just by talking and checking different locations for new stuff.

Structure: Game is one piece so it was difficult to say how much progress was left. Almost at the very end I was still of large amount of story to come since there were still two locations closed - but - BAM - unexpected stuff showed up and story shortly ended.

 
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Story: First things first. I've NO idea what girl is depicted on game poster. The only blonde girl in the game was secretary side-character. That's not fun making a poster out of non-existing character. And there is zero trace of game's alias title - L-Elle.
Story felt a bit shorter than De-Ja. I can't avoid spoilers although promise not to spoiler heavily about the ending. So you join a unit of snipers to investigate recent abductions of humans by Black Widow organization and their leader Gimmick. "Sniper" is just a cool title, all you have is a hand stun-gun with volume ranging from light stun to lethal shot. So five of them are of low ranks and their officer is of S rank. You actually are of SS rank but you can't reveal that so it's blank rank and you're subordinate of a different intelligence body. One of lower rank snipers is girl named Elle who takes you on a tour around Media center and the city and then leaves alone. First you encounter a girl sexually assaulted by two Black Widow members, then as story progresses there are two more sexual assaults that you prevent right in the media center, the base of sniper organization. The attackers have bombs explode on arrest. Then one by one fellow sniper team members start to die just after they approach the mystery of Gimmick identity. Their bodies are gravely destructed, partly dismembered with all entrails out. Eventually Elle joins you as an investigation partner and together you eventually manage to reveal the secret of Gimmick. Then Ex-Machina happens (in a good meaning, nothing extraterrestrial or stupid) and everything ends in the spirit of Matrix.

Characters summary: Characters are all depicted very lively. It's a brutal man world story so males advance the story while girls here are just service staff : waitress, receptionist, nurse, pop-idol, tv drama star. They have quite episodic roles and involve a single H-scene each (Chris actually has one and a half since you save her from street gangsters in quite an intriguing state). So Elle is the only heroine here.
 
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Elle: El Mines is a sniper division member. Right from the start she marks you as a pervert and you by chance come to the same place together following the same lead and find the body of first fellow sniper. After that She feels responsible and volunteers to join you to find Gimmick. She's quite a typical Elf main heroine very similar to Gachako from De-Ja. Loud voice, constant use of "ne, ne" , emotional behavior. Just like Lipstick ADV and De-Ja written by Hiruda before, the most fun stuff happens when she follows you to well-known locations and comments on everything and quarrels with every female around.
 
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Protagonist: Joe Takanaka is the default name, but actually you get to insert your own name just as game starts. Again, very similar to De-Ja, protagonist is one hell of a pervert. Whenever he sees something with a skirt, he can't stand but to try to grab it, to lick it, to kiss it and to devour it with his eyes, of course.
 
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Sexual Content: Low. But freaking funny! There are five sexual assaults made throughout the game by gangsters and in four of them you actually join the assaulters! One superfun scene is of Section chief who we found guilty in murder. So he takes his secretary hostage stripping her while threatening with a knife. We don't have a good angle to shoot him so we just join him to harass her together. The fun part is that he cries : stop right now, it's my secretary, what are you doing to my subordinate. Since it's point and click adventure, you can't skip scenes but must gradually kiss/touch/lick etc, but the good stuff is that H-scenes give you a new lead by the end of it, so it's not just a senseless act, but a plot move.
 
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Affection for the Characters: High. Every male characters has strong individuality and you won't be able to forget them. Every female character is very cute and fun in her own way.
 
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CG Score: 10/10. There aren't too many CG here, but I just love Elf CG, even H-CG and guro ones. Special note should be given to animations. There are hundreds of 3D animations in the game. Most of objects grow legs and other limbs and do weird things on clicking. Very fun stuff. Really. Every second object on a screen. Another great feature is short videos in most important plot moments. They are of great quality and they make you forget that you're playing a visual novel game. It's totally like anime in those scenes.
 
Sound Score: There are some 20 compositions and most of them were so-so, just to break the silence. I have not remembered any brilliant ones, but it probably due to the fact that all the multiple animated scenes have their own sound, not the usual compositions. But I never once got tired of any track and never ever felt like one track was looping for too long. So 8/10 it is.

Addictiveness: I'm hopelessly addicted to early Elf works now. And ELLE is awesome mostly because of point-and-click style. Now it's really interactive experience and you really feel like playing, not clicking every possible variant in each location over and over. Just talk and walk.

 

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Humor: Yes! I'm distinguishing a special column for humor here. Game treats everything unseriously. Just look at this picture. Nurse whipping patient to make him drink medicine properly. One guy hanging on a rope. Another one in speed wheel chair. 3rd one smells a pile of poo. Next pair are having sex. Next to them is a nurse who's masturbating with a sofa. To the right is the guy who holds his own eye. Just below is the guy with his head in his hands. This nice grandpa in lower right corner has a dick showing up from his head and cumming on clicking. Every object is clickable and everything produces fantastic commentaries and/or animations. This no restraint humor is the best!

Technical Difficulties: Game is based on old fullscreen Direct-media and DirectX so it basically freezes on Alt-Tab, but as soon as I tried to run it in window-mode with DXWind, it was perfect.

Conclusion: Game that I'll never be able to forget. Every piece that I like came together and produced pervert protagonist comedy adventure story in sci-fi setting with a single intriguing story-line and great shock in the end. It's the first VN game I played that I liked without any but's.
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kivandopulus

ELLE is my favorite VN in June 1991.

1. Cobra II: Densetsu no Otoko コブラII―伝説の男― 寺沢武 [910607] Hudson Soft 1 2 3 4
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Badass space pirate Cobra is here again. This time he's accompanied by sexy bounty hunter Jane who turns out to chase after his own head. But all the conflicts are forgotten when Cobra's archenemy Crystal Boy shows up. And both of space adventurers have valid enough reasons to join forces and hunt for Crystal Boy.
I darn love this atmosphere. City Hunter, Dirty Pair, Cobra, Captain Harlock, 009-1 are all fantastic sci-fi series that stand at the fundamentals of anime. Action and fast pace is what keeps interest as well as fine humor in there. VN format for them might look inappropriate to many. There are a lot of English reviews for this game here and most of authors blame lack of action gameplay (which is nonsense for a VN work).

 

2. Kyou mo Campus Hana Ranman 今日もキャンパス花乱満 [910610] Computer Brain
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A school trip on an airplane can bring lots of unexpected events!
Game is obscure, but its H nature does not raise any doubts. Just random and semi-random H events.

 

3. ELLE エル [910623] Elf 1 2
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Postnuclear world last survivors dome city. "Black Widow" organization is trying to obstruct plans for human survival while anti-terror organization along with lady sniper Elle oppose them.
First japanese point-and-click adventure, just like western quests when you move cursor and it changes shape depending on object. But unlike western games it's 1st person perspective which is really original. Judging from the plot synopsis alone it's well seen that Hiruda wrote the scenario. And post-apocalypses and sci-fi themes make it even more desirable. Story has a good pace since incidents occur one after another and don't leave much time to get bored. Point and click is also fun since at some clicks objects start moving with animation so it's not just comments. Details are in my review.

 

4. Tsukune-chan no Daibouken Dotou no Karimenkyo Hen つくねちゃんの大冒険 怒涛の仮免許編 [910628] Game Technopolis
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Tsukune is a 16-year old girl who works as a witch's apprentice. Today is the test day for becoming a witch and she forgot her magic pants!
Ugh, this work is ugly for 1991. And it has enormous number of commands which make gameplay lacking as never before. The number of commands needed to select can easily surpass a hundred. I'm not joking. Game feels like it was abandoned since the start of 80s and then forced to production.
 
kivandopulus

Ginsei Senshin Guynarock is the VN of May 1991 by default - it's the closest thing to a visual novel this month.

1. Ginsei Senshin Guynarock 銀聖戦神ガイナロック [910520] Techno Brain
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In 2125 a special unit SIS was created to defend against extraterrestrial life. It consists of five female members - Erie, Louis, Megu, Remy and Io. After investigating an unidentified spacecraft heading for Earth, Erie was attacked by a scientist Baikal who vanished 150 years ago. Io is captured and the rest of the crew, except for Eri, are forced to rescue Io and ride giant robot Guynarock to oppose the giant robot of Baikal.
First of all there's a whole series of Guynarock series with very similar plot and titles which causes lots of confusion. Story is short, but has nice animations and impressive robot battle. Girs are drawn in the 1980s style and are cute enough.

 

2. Smell of Blood スメル オブ ブラッド [910524] Heart Soft
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Year 2270. Glen is a worker who returns from a 6 month shift from Mars. He awakes in Shuttle 2 only to find out that the spacecraft is breached by alien killer monsters.
Game is obscure. Heart Soft is the main experimentation company of 1991. Most of its games have kinky mechanics that are difficult to grasp. This game has 10 command variants for each dialogue, lots of rooms and technical information on the station.

 

3. Gakuen Toshi Z 学園都市Z [9105] Striker 1
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In the floating in space academic city of Z students compete against each other using their own robots. This year just one day before competition the Red team got intoxicated by food poisoning. Just one red team was intact. So the rules were changed - if Red team gathers five crystals scattered throughout the school - it wins. Otherwise white opponents win. And now single Red robot faces 20,000 white robots.
RPG with ADV elements. Setting leaves much to be desired and plot does not invoke any emotions. Both girls from red mechanics team are cheerful and animation is quite widely used, but that alone can't save the game from the depths of commonness. RPG part is actually quite difficult compared to other RPG VNs.

 

4. Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Rudger no Bouken ファンタシースターII テキストアドベンチャー ルドガーの冒険 [911201] Sega 1 2 3
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This chapter features Rudolf "Rudo" Steiner (Japanese: ルドガー・スタイナー (Rudogā Steiner or Rudger Steiner)), who after the loss of his wife and child in a Biomonster attack, becomes a hunter dedicated to their extermination.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.

 

5. Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Shilka no Bouken ファンタシースターII テキストアドベンチャー シルカの冒険 [911201] Sega 1 2 3 4
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Shir Gold (Japanese: シルカ・レビニア (Shiruka Rebinia, Shilka Levinia)) – the only child of a wealthy family in Paseo, she belongs to the well-to-do of Motavia. Growing up and wanting for nothing, Shir felt that becoming a thief would remedy the monotony of daily life. She enjoys the outside air, the cool night breeze, and hanging around on rooftops, taking up the nickname "Shir of the Wind". Her adventure takes place in Autumn of AW 1282, about two years before the events that take place in Phantasy Star II, as she plans to steal a valuable painting entitled "Opa-Opa", which is on display in a hotel exhibit.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.
kivandopulus

I put Psychic Detective Series Vol. 4: Orgel above other games in April 1991 even though there are also such masterpieces as CAL II  and Nostalgia 1907.

 

1. Nostalgia 1907 ノスタルジア1907 [910402] Sur De Wave 1 2
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Ship "Nostalgia" is crossing Atlantic Ocean when explosion breaks out. Playing as captain and passengers you need to find out who planted the bomb.
Game has an English review.

 

2. CAL II キャルツー [910410] Birdy Soft 1 2 3
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You are Wataru Ishibashi, a high-school student in modern Japan. Up until recently you led a normal life, enjoying the relationship with your lovely girlfriend Mika. But short before the graduation ceremony, you had a strange vision that you first believe to be a dream. But when you are contacted by Venus, the goddess of love, you realise Mika was abducted by Aeon, the goddess of time, and transferred into the Realm of Time. You must now travel to the legendary dream world of beautiful goddesses and bring Mika back.
Game has English reviews. The most famous work of Birdy Soft and definitely a masterpiece.

 

3. Foxy 2 Foxy 2 [910412] Elf 1
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Planet Charon has done its first steps in space exploration when mysterious organization "Giras" kidnapped senior space scientist and then his niece. Her friends are determined to save them and storm "Giras" strongholds.
Well, it's Foxy - what's to write about it? Same turn-based strategy, same half-naked girls rescue in between the battles. It's got several differences of course - it's no more blue vs red stupid confrontation. Units got more complex. Now there's limit for number of turns. So it can't be beaten without some love for the strategy games. The cool part is rpg elements - units receive xp and get transferred to next battles. At the same time it means that loss of even single unit is fatal, so repeating is expected.

 

4. D.P.S. SG Set 2 D.P.S. SG Set 2 [910415] Alice Soft 1 2
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The scenarios in this game include:
A horror story entitled Antique House, in which a young couple is trapped at night in a secluded haunted mansion, possessed by monsters. The player can choose the personality of the female character before beginning, influencing the story with this choice.
A modern-day story without any supernatural elements, entitled Red Night. The protagonist is a man who finds himself in a hotel when a fire starts. Trying to escape, he enters a room occupied by a prostitute. The following events evolve slightly differently, depending on the personality choice made by the player before the start of the game.
A sequel to the second episode of the first D.P.S. game. Once again, the player chooses either the male doctor Katsuki or the female doctor Katsumi whose goal is to seduce the patient, the cute school girl Yumiko.
There is an English review on the game.

 

5. Psychic Detective Series Vol. 4: Orgel サイキック・ディテクティブ・シリーズ Vol.4 オルゴール [9104] DataWest 1
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One day a mysterious woman clad in mourning dress appears in the office of Katsuya Furuyagi, a private investigator who possesses a unique ability to journey into the minds of people. The woman has a strange request that makes Furuyagi doubt her sanity. For generations, a beautiful doll has been in the possession of her family; however, recently it has disappeared, and the woman is convinced the culprit is the devil himself. Furuyagi travels to the countryside where he begins to investigate this unusual mystery, determined to find out the truth.
Command selection ADV. This work stands somewhat alone since we don't get to travel to other peoples' minds, but explore an ancient western mansion instead. Game's one of the highest masterpieces of the series with its horror atmosphere and great synthesis of animation and sound. Game has a huge number of guro scenes, but they aren't animated for the sake of readers health.
kivandopulus

Jesus II is the only masterpiece of March 1991.
 

1. Hoshi no Suna Monogatari 星の砂物語 [910305] D.O. 1
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Gengorou enjoyed his peaceful life in boarding house till one of its inhabitants got killed. House owner asks Gen to make own investigation and this is an offer that can't be turned down since Gen does not have an alibi and is a suspect himself.
Plot exists merely as weak excuse to harass 5 girl boarding house members. A remake of the year 1988 game.

 

2. Thanatos サナトス [910310] Birdy Soft
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You're a private detective yourself. One day you're shocked to read in an article that your colleague was shot with a swarm of bullets. Once you set on a trail you get a floppy disk that contains information on a trading company that operates secret medicine "Thanatos" that gives abnormous strength.
Setting is science fiction in the near future. It's an action story with gunfire and brawling. But there is quite little information on the game because of one reason. Game is shipped with multiple floppy disks and literally for every background or event game asks you to insert the needed diskette, then after it's seen, need to change back to original one.

 

3. Jesus II ジーザスII [910324] Enix 1 2 3
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In the mids of sea voyage Kazuya sees a large container drop from the sky. It's neglected as space junk, but shortly after that several crew members get mysteriously murdered. Kazuya finds a connection to the incident that happened four years ago when alien creature attacked a spaceship.
Jesus II had low sales because it shifted far from prequel that had lots of gameplay elements. Jesus II is production oriented, so it has great story, visuals and sound, but has one story line and very simple selection commands that limit freedom of action. Also Jesus II main difference with Prontis is the ending.

 

4. Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Kainz no Bouken ファンタシースターII テキストアドベンチャー カインズの冒険 [911201] Sega 1 2 3 4
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Josh Kain (or Kain Ji An, Japanese: カインズ・ジ・アン Kainzu) is an 18 year old aspiring engineer who always loved machines, and had become quite knowledgeable in how electrical devices and robots function. He built many small devices, fixed appliances, and even learned to hack computers. However, due to being scatterbrained and clumsy, he would sometimes destroy the things he tried to fix. Eventually, after one particularly disastrous repair job, he gave up trying to be an engineer, deciding instead to put his "talent" for destroying things to good use. Thus did he become a "wrecker", his job being to trash anything electronic. He starts off joining a gang of rebels out to destroy Mother Brain, and eventually ends up teaming up with Rolf in Phantasy Star II towards that very end.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.

 

5. Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Nei no Bouken ファンタシースターII テキストアドベンチャーネイの冒険 [911201] Sega 1 2 3
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This chapter features Nei (Japanese: ネイ, Nei) - a Numan created through an experiment to breed humans with biomonsters. After her escape from Neifirst, she is rescued by Rolf and adopted as his little sister.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.
kivandopulus

Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha is VN of the February 1991 by default - Prontis is too much of a half-baked game.
 

1. Akagawa Jirou no Yuurei Ressha 赤川次郎の幽霊列車 [910208] Mighty Craft 1 2
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Based on detective novel. Eight people have vanished and rumors state that they were carried away by ghost train. The key to these events lies in a remote village.
It is famicom game so it inherits its disadvantages. As in every famicom detective story that I've seen you have to move around by yourself. So lots of long distances walking and need to search all the corners and the speed of walking is soooooo sloooow. Since it's literary adaptation, story is really good. But original novel was just 70 pages and here we get slightly over 2 hours of gameplay. We get to discover the mystery of disappearance, but not find the culprit. Unlike other detective works, no new criminal cases arise in the mids of investigation, so we do our job in the village and that's it.

 

2. Prontis プロンティス [9102] Cross Media Soft 1
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A transmission signal was received from a carriage vessel on the way to Amon. The cockpit was penetrated by a meteorite and no survivors were possible. Vessel fell into planet atmosphere. Your orders are simple - confirm location of wreckage and return home. Among the treasures on the ship you discover a sealed container.
Great plot, right? True. There are several incidents and possessions and the reason is creature Prontis from container. You never know who's going to stab you from behind and that's new. This game has no branches. CG are quite good and some moves are even animated. But production values are low, story is not long enough and lack of direction is felt. The reason of that is not so evident. Enix company had a clash among its members and part of them left the company. They used the story that they worked on in Enix to make Prontis game and hurriedly issued it in February 1991. They really needed to be the first, that's why story feels great but everything else is lacking. On March 1991 Enix issues their own game Jesus II which uses the same story with cosmetic details changed. It was a disaster for everyone. Players did not want to play the same game for the second time while the memory of a raw product was still new. Enix did not get its sales aim. But that's already Jesus II story that will unfold in March 1991.

 

3. Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Anne no Bouken ファンタシースターII テキストアドベンチャー アンヌの冒険 [911201] Sega 1 2 3 4
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Amy Sage (Japanese: アンヌ・サガ (Annu or Anne Saga)) has just finished her internship at the hospital in River Town, and has become a full-fledged doctor. Calm, yet strong-willed, she is dedicated in helping everyone who needs her medical aid. Her chapter takes place in the spring of AW 1284, shortly before the events of Phantasy Star II, giving the player some insight into why she became a doctor and decided to specialize in helping victims of Biomonster attacks.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.

 

4. Phantasy Star II Text Adventure: Eusis no Bouken ファンタシースターII テキストアドベンチャー ユーシスの冒険 [911201] Sega 1 2 3
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Rolf (Japanese: ユーシス (Yūshisu or Eusis)) is a government agent working out of the town of Paseo on Motavia, and the main character of Phantasy Star II. While on a mission, he rescues a young Numan girl named Nei from the Biosystems Lab.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.

 

ファンタシースターII テキストアドベンチャー ヒューイの冒険 [911201] Sega 1 2 3 4
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Hugh Thompson (Japanese: ヒューイ・リーン (Hyūi Lean or Huey Reane)) is a biologist who adapts his knowledge of anatomy to combating biomonsters.
Game is localized and has enough information in English.
kivandopulus

There are no masterpieces in January and Dragon Eyes becomes the winner by default since it's the closest thing to a normal visual novel.
 

1. Dragon Eyes ドラゴンアイズ [910123] Fairytale 1
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Dragon Eyes is a "space opera" kind of story, focusing on a young girl named Ines, who lives on the planet Miu of the Phi Sun. She grew up together with a space agent named Klind, to whom she refers as "brother". One day, her superior from the planet Garudoria informs her that Klind has disappeared during one of his missions and might be in danger. Ines travels to Garudoria to find additional information, and soon becomes involved in a vast space conflict...
Space opera type with girl Ines who lost contact with space agent Klind who was like brother to her. She heads to planet Garudoria where he was last contacted only to be involved into huge space conflict...
Space opera setting is usually alone enough already to gain appeal. And it really looks like it's here just for the charm. Dragon eyes has splendid graphics on the top. Heroines are beauties (with nakedness not rare). Total number of CG exceeds 200 which was very good volume. But sadly it lacks in every other division. Controls are mediocre since it's usual non-simplified command selection. Sci-Fi setting is spoilt by magic interference. Plot advances feel cheap. It's still would be good work if you really like its graphics.

 

2. Misty Vol.7 Misty Vol.7 [910125] DataWest 1
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Misty Vol.7 is a detective mystery adventure game set in modern-day Japan and starring the young private investigator Ryū Kamishiro. The game consists of five unrelated cases that can be accessed in any order from the main menu. These cases range from seemingly mundane matters to thefts, mysterious disappearances and murder investigations.
This volume contains the following cases: The Color in the Darkness, Airtight Archipelago, Bonds of Illumination, A Watch Without a Needle and Innocent Vision.
A serious detective game which is a genre that I don't feel confidence to discuss.

 

3. Dragon City ドラゴンシティ [9101] Fairytale X-Shitei
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One day hero is taken to a different world. And in this world women are taught to respond to desires of men.
Fairytale X-Shitei is actually the main company name of 1991. It's the first division to produce only specialized H works without much plot, but with top level of drawing. And since there was no regulation yet, it was produced without any censorship. And eventually by the end of the year it led to an arrest of company director for indecency and introduction on censorship in computer games. This game is on par to the overall flow - cute and indecent.

 

4. Soapland Story II -Memory- ソープランドストーリー Ⅱ -Memory- [9101] Hard
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City nanpa adventure with more complex mechanics and maintaining such stats as Life, Strength, Experience and Money.
This is one of the earliest tilts into SIM, but just the nanpa synopsis does not not invoke much interest.
 
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